Ever want something from the past to come back and be the same, you damn well know it ain’t gonna happen. As much as you want it, you know there’s no way this is going to have a happy ending. Fairy tales are in children’s books, romance novels and the movies.
Don’t cry for me…(yeah that’s a song-it fits really well here). I’m a big girl and I walked into the place, for lunch, knowing full well life moves on, shit changes, people change-nothing stands still. Time makes change as it moves through the universe. My bad, a girl can dream…then you wake up! Hopefully when you do wake, you’re in your own bed in familiar surroundings. Not in a crowed posh restaurant, dressed Saturday casual sheik, tanned with sun-kissed highlighted hair, braided perfectly to the side. You could care less what I looked like, a lot of forethought and care went into looking just right…but I’ll get on with the events.
I followed the hostess through the maze of tables filled with equally poshly dressed diners. Making eye contact with several as I wound my way to the rear of the room toward the large windows that overlook the St John River. I lost my balance, the room took on a dim hue, when he stood to greet me. Oh my goodness! Shut the front door! This could not be the man I worship, that I would arrange my flights (flight attendant) to coincide with his days off – a major player as a Detective for the local law enforcement, former Marine MP. No freakin’ way! We use to get up at the crack of dawn (I still do by the way) to run many miles before the sunrise over the Atlantic. He was full cop, full ex Marine and a fantastic lover…more on that in a moment.
How can I put this nicely? On dating websites when they ask about your body the choices are; in shape, athletic, nicely toned, a few pounds…Let’s go with the latter. I knew it was him, without a doubt, the blue eyes, the smile, the haircut (still Marine style) and the voice-his voice always a turn on for me. I loved this man like I’ve loved no other! He called, the voice was so familar…I was going to be in town 2 weeks later. Why not? He’s newly divorced! I got excited! I mean really excited! Over the following 2 weeks leading up to my visit (business in town), I recalled all the wonderful moments…there were many and there were some not so wonderful moments.
I composed myself and greeted him with European pecks on both cheeks, avoiding his eyes, hoping he wouldn’t see my astonishment. I sat, made lots of small talk hoping to avoid the enviable conversation about reconnecting. All the while sitting and wondering behind my perfect flight attendant smile, what had happened to my guy to let himself go and go so far from the man who was? Coffee after a wonderful salad with an excellent piece of salmon, it was hard to hold back the tears. It wasn’t because he lacked the washboard abs…he was a tyrant when we were together about eating, drinking and in general a health nut! Then conversation fell on us…the us of yesterday. How do you tell a man you loved so completely that you’re worlds apart today?
I had a key to his condo on the river. I’d helped him buy the furniture, purchased pieces for his birthday and Christmas. I surprised him with a new mattress set, custom-made, because of his height and his bedroom would be cramped with a king bed. It was a significant moment in our relationship. For the first time I considered becoming a wife. Big step for moi!!! My flight schedule was changed mid day. I was in Chicago and there was a flight at the jet way, being boarded and headed to his city. I waited with bated breath, hoping for one open seat…I thought my luck was with me that day. I landed, caught a cab to his place, saw his work car in his parking spot. I was so excited, I ran to the main door and quickly to the condo door. As I put the key in the knob I could hear music playing-my French themed, sexy music I loved to play. I walked in and my heart sank…on the floor were a pair of ladies heels, a skirt, his shoes, the jacket I’d given him for his birthday…on the coffee table were two coke cans, a half eaten pizza…none of things he and I would ever eat or he’d allow us to eat! I followed the hall to the rear, the door wide open to the master bedroom and there on the bed were he and her having sex, her on top, just bopping away…I told there waited to see how long it would take for him to notice another person standing in the door way, Mr. A-1 Detective. While I stood there frozen in time, that seemed like an eternity, it wasn’t what I saw that broke my heart, causing it to bleed. It was what I heard that made me want to throw up. His love for her and him saying all the same things to her, he would say to me while we made love, which later I felt was just a fuck. I turned left the room, headed to the other bathroom and threw up, careful not to soil my uniform. When I’d emptied my gut, I flushed the toilet and began running the sink water to wash my face and gargle. That got their attention. I thought it would…as I spit the mouth wash into the toilet and began to flush for the second time, he appeared in the doorway with a pair of swimming trunks that I had arbitrarily purchased, just because…His first words, well actually his several words were; this isn’t what it looked like, I know this looks bad, I can explain, I didn’t expect you and my personal favorite; “Why are you here so early? I didn’t expect you until tomorrow morning. I had a great welcome home planned for you. Now you’ve ruined the surprise I had planned!” I’m sorry! I went from zero to 100 in less than one second…It’s a blur after that…I rememeber grabbing my wheeled bag and walking out the door. I walked a couple of blocks from the building stopped and called a cab…airport crew lounge was my refuge for a few hours…I caught a flight back to my home base. Turned my phone off for 2 days. Got another phone with a second number, gave that to the airline, family and friends with a story that I was getting harassing calls-my cop friend suggested I just get a new number.
This was the first time we’d seen each other since that day-yes years have passed. I heard from a mutual friend he’d married her, she moved into the condo-no kids. And as he told me his martial gruesome story, she’d screwed around on him, with a few guys and she wasn’t shy about or discreet about it. He’d become depressed, because divorcing her would suck the life out of his saving, possibly his pension, his condo, his rental properties…so he stayed in the marriage, let himself go…was promoted to captain and now thinking about retiring to the Keys. He was renting a place down at the ocean, no longer in quaint area we once ran through those dark mornings, ate at the sidewalk diners, enjoyed life as a handsome couple (that’s what people would stop us to say).
No. It wasn’t working for me now, but I could see he was willing. I took a deep breath and I simply said: ‘I don’t think we can go back. There’s too much baggage, it would only weigh us down–weigh you down.’ He reluctantly agreed. We fielded our way through the tables, less diners, less chatter, it was a 2 hour lunch. As I waited for the valet to bring my car, he turned, hugged me, kissed me on the cheek and whispered in my ear; “You will always be the love of my life, I’m sorry I hurt you, everything after that day that’s happened to me I deserved. You look like a million bucks and whoever the man in your life is, he’s a very lucky guy-hope he appreciates you and loves you as you should be loved.” He turned and walked away…he didn’t look back. My heart hurt, because I man I loved so much was gone forever, even though I’d just had lunch with his spirit.
Life’s a bitch! But life goes on…
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